Today’s conference championship games – Eagles at Cardinals, and Ravens at Steelers – include the following players with Patriots ties:
Eagles Kyle Eckel -- Fullback appeared in 12 games for the Patriots in the 2007 season, mostly on special teams, and was with the club in 2008 training camp. In five games this season, he's totaled 24 carries.
Dan Klecko -- Defensive lineman, a fourth-round draft choice of the Patriots in 2003, played in 29 games with three starts from 2003-2005. He's played in all 16 games this season for the first time in his career (three starts), mostly lining up at fullback. On defense, he has totaled four tackles and two sacks.
Asante Samuel -- Cornerback, one of two Patriots fourth-round draft choices in 2003, played in 75 games with 53 starts from 2003-2007. Signed as a marquee free agent by the Eagles this past offseason, he's totaled four interceptions this season and has been a shutdown presence.
Cardinals Monty Beisel -- Linebacker played in 15 games (6 starts) with the Patriots in 2005, but the match wasn't a fit and he was cut before the 2006 season. He's primarily a special teams player for Arizona.
Victor Hobson -- Linebacker was with the Patriots in 2008 training camp but was released before the season began. He was a late-season signing by Arizona and has appeared in one game.
Sean Morey -- The NFC's Pro Bowl special teams player this season, Morey appeared in two games for the Patriots in 1999.
Pat Ross -- Backup center from Boston College spent time on the Patriots' practice squad in 2007, but never appeared in a game. He has not played for the Cardinals this season.
Ravens Corey Ivy -- Veteran cornerback was with the Patriots as a rookie in 1999 but did not appear in a game. He plays in sub packages and on special teams.
Steelers Fernando Bryant -- Veteran cornerback was with the Patriots in 2008 training camp, playing on the first unit, but was cut before the regular season began. An in-season signing for the Steelers, he has played sparingly in a reserve role.